Bearded Buddies in Orlando

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – In addition to playing really well lately, the Orlando Magic have become one of the more interesting teams in the league.

Stan Van Gundy is making MVP declarations, he insists Bull All-Star Derrick Rose has already won the award despite the Magic’s All-Star big man, Dwight Howard, being just as deserving:

“I don’t think it’s wide open,” Van Gundy said. “The media seems to have made their decision and they’re the ones who vote, so I think it’s over.” Asked to make the case for Howard, Van Gundy said: “To me, with his rebounding, his scoring and his defense, I just don’t think there’s anybody that impacts as many possessions in a game as Dwight does. I think Derrick Rose has been great. I will have no problem at all if Derrick  Rose wins the MVP. They’ve got the best record in the East; he’s been clearly their leader. You can make a great case for him. I have never been running down another guy. I think it’s a hard choice to make…but I still don’t think anyone impacts the game as many possessions as Dwight does.”

As much entertainment as Van Gundy provides, the his players are cooking up a hockey-themed stunt for the playoffs that should make things even more hilarious around the locker room in the coming weeks.

After much deliberation, they have decided to grow playoff beards. And they have vowed not to shave them until their playoff run, however long it ends up being, is over. The NBA Finals don’t usually end until mid to late June.

For guys like Jameer Nelson, Hedo Turkoglu, Jason Richardson, Gilbert Arenas, Earl Clark and Ryan Anderson, that shouldn’t be a problem. They’ve all sported some facial hair at times throughout the course of their careers. It’s normally clean-shaven guys like Howard that we can’t wait to see sporting a little shadow or chin scruff.

The instigator, Quentin Richardson, explained to the Orlando Sentinel where the playoff beard idea came from:

“It’s one of those team things,” Richardson said. “Togetherness. It’s something fun at the same time. It’s going to definitely look funny, I know.”

The players said they collectively made the decision between Monday’s victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers and Wednesday’s win over the New York Knicks.

“We talked about doing something as a team,” center Dwight Howard said.

“We thought about the bald heads, but some of us — myself — don’t look right with a bald head. Then we thought about letting our hair grow out; then [we realized] we’ve got a lot of guys who are going bald, so [it would] look funny with just patches in their head.

“So the beard is the only way to go. It’ll be tough for me and the young guys to really get it going, but we’re all in this together.”

Growing beards is a tradition in hockey, with players from the eventual Stanley Cup champions often hoisting the coveted trophy with ragged facial hair.

Rather than wait until the NBA playoffs start in mid-April, Richardson has started growing his beard with three weeks remaining in their regular season. Other players say they’ve doing the same.

If the Magic’s run lasts as long as they expect it to, things could get seriously out of control in that locker room. And if they let Van Gundy participate we could all have some serious fun with this playoff beard stuff.

14 Comments

  1. MARCO boy says:

    earth to you too marco boy,,I aint a great howard fan myself, but your comment may seem to be too opinionated. Any player who’s a vital part of the team and making their team perform really good this season can be a candidate for MVP. Try to remove howard from the magic, and what will you get, a team with a very poor chance of winning a game. Not to mention being in the top 5 in blocks, rebounds and shooting percentage…I think dirk, westbrook, Aldridge stands far beyond dwight, in MVP considerations..

  2. marco says:

    earth to the idiot that says dwight impacts more than DROSE,,,,Rose has lost Noah and Boozer for VERY significant parts of the season and has Keith Bogans(a nobody) Luol(just now becoming consistant even though i personally love theguy) Omer Aski(rookie) Kyle Korv er(sixth man) and Cj Watsaon(nobody) no offense CJ,.
    Dwights had Rashard(all star) Vince(all star) Gilbert(all star) jason richardson(all star) Jameer(solid starter) Mikael pietrus(sixth man) and Hedo( playin better than he did in pheonix n ronto)..and youre sayin Dwight impacts more than Rose>>>??
    Not only that how many game winners and last minute go ahead baskets and dishes has Rose made?? Im sorry I dont agree. Dwight complains about wanting more talent around him..Rose barely talks(known for his quiet composure) so take a note out of his book Dwight. Shut up n make your team better, Those beards wont grow very long..If anyone is being shyed from serious consideration its a player like Dirk shooting ridiculous percentage and being the obvious leader in Dallas (shout out to Mark Cuban) or Lamarcus who has been holding the Blazers in playoff contention in Roys absence as well as being top ten in scoring and rebounding. Or russel Westbrook who is OUTSHINING KD …do you know how hard it is to outshine the SON of Oklahoma>><??
    Dwight should not even be a story line im sorry..

    • bernie says:

      and you probably also hate lebron james for that matter.

    • wain says:

      He doesnt have rashard, vince or mikael anymore..keep up

    • john says:

      Dwight is a bigger impact then drose PERIOD wtf r u talkn about marco the retard howard is top ten in four different catigories the only player in the league who’s top ten in four catigories. avg. 20+ 10+ 3 blocks a game better then any one in the league u kno nothing about basketball rose gots a great team around him who are all haveing the best season of there careers not because of drose sorry to burst ur bubble retard if magic were 1st or even 2nd seed howard would be MVP allday still MVP with what he”s done this season in my eyes and evry coaches eye in this league PERIOD

  3. wync says:

    How about all the fans doing the same thing too? Women can grow leg hair

  4. Koroush says:

    they are copying the grizzlies!! they have been doing this for 2 weeks now!!

  5. anthony says:

    i can’t wait. they are more then likely atleast 2nd round for sure. by then it could be pretty entertaining. I think jj willl be the wild card for best beard.

  6. Jake says:

    Is Gillette going to sponsor a post-playoff shaving party in the locker room? If they win the Championship, maybe they could use the Champagne as shaving cream. I bet Van Gundy could pull off a really good homeless guy look with a beard and an old patched suit jacket.

  7. Scott, Stoke Newington, UK says:

    The whole beard thing sounds like a sponsors dream. Can imagine one of the shaving companies jumping all over this story!

    Come what may, the brotherhood of true NBA fans will be watching the playoffs – beards or no beards – long into the small hours of the night (s) !!!

  8. Gary says:

    Van Gundy’s right. The media has boosted Rose so much that no one else is going to get recognized. Not saying Rose doesn’t deserve it, but Dwight’s impact is definatley greater to his team.

  9. ephraim says:

    no doubt Drose will earn MVP award…maybe dwight in second place but drose all the way!..

    • prix' says:

      Rose for MVP…I love him to win..but its no good if you win for a lonesome competition..where’s Dwight and Lebron…and the west is missing…

  10. Joe says:

    Brilliant! Can’t wait to see the whole team sporting their new beards!
    Just brilliant!